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Happy End

Happy End
Movie: Happy End(2017)[tt5304464] Gradually succumbing to dementia, George Laurent, the octogenarian patriarch of the Laurents, an affluent upper-bourgeois family, is uncomfortably sharing his palatial manor in Calais, the heart of the infamous migrant jungle, with his twice-married son, Thomas, and Anne, his workaholic daughter who has taken over the family construction business. Divorced and frigid, Anne has to handle the impact of a disastrous workplace accident caused by her disappointing son Pierre's negligence, while at the same time, the urgent hospitalisation of Thomas' ex-wife from a mysterious poisoning, leads his sulky 13-year-old daughter, Ève, to live with her father and his new wife, Anais. Undoubtedly, in this family, everyone has a skeleton in the closet, and as the fates of the Laurents enmesh with insistent and ignoble desires, a peculiar and disturbing alliance will form. But in the end, some secrets are bigger than others. Written byNick Riganas
Title Happy End
Release Date 1 December 2017 (UK)
Runtime
Genres Drama
Production Companies Les Films du Losange, X-Filme Creative Pool, Wega Film
Isabelle Huppert
Isabelle Huppert...
Anne Laurent...
Jean-Louis Trintignant
Jean-Louis Trintignant...
Georges Laurent...
Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz...
Thomas Laurent...
Fantine Harduin
Fantine Harduin...
Eve Laurent...
Franz Rogowski
Franz Rogowski...
Pierre Laurent...
Laura Verlinden
Laura Verlinden...
Anaïs...
Toby Jones
Toby Jones...
Lawrence Bradshaw...
Hassam Ghancy
Hassam Ghancy...
Rachid...
Nabiha Akkari
Nabiha Akkari...
Jamila...
Philippe du Janerand
Philippe du Janerand...
Maître Barin...
Dominique Besnehard
Dominique Besnehard...
Marcel, le coiffeur...

Reviews

mariobadula on 19 March 2018
Like others, the main reason I went to see this film was Michael Haneke. Although I always thought that he lacks humor and takes himself too seriously, he did make some outstanding and memorable films. Unfortunately, this one feels stale, redundant, and out of step with the times. The subject matter, the bourgeoisie entrapped in their self-serving bubble as a theme, has been shown so many times, and in much more poignant ways, including by Haneke himself. This film doesn't add anything new or noteworthy, neither with the story, nor with the style. The way social media and phone messages are shown also feels embarrassingly dated, like a grandfather explaining this "new" phenomenon. "Cache" was made over a decade ago, and technology and the discourses of its impacts have moved on with furious speed; apparently, Haneke has not. Even the metaphor of using Calais and the migrant 'jungle' as point here misses its mark. It tries to be smart about it, but, once again, it just feels old in its approach.Interestingly enough, another western European film, the Swedish "The Square," dealt with some similar themes and issues in the same year, but was more successful with its narrative framework and style. "Happy End" just felt boring, not necessarily because of the long takes alone, but because of its uninspired re-threading of familiar ground. Because of that, those long takes eventually really did become boring. Perhaps Haneke will resurface with some interesting new work, or perhaps it is really time for him to retire. In any case, I hope the comparisons to Bunuel will cease. Bunuel was a pioneer with his films; this is a film by an old man, who doesn't seem to have much new to say any more.

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